Various: Rogue's Gallery (Anti/Shock)

 |   |  1 min read

Loudon Wainwright III: Good Ship Venus
Various: Rogue's Gallery (Anti/Shock)

Believe it or not, when I was a kid my dad -- who had spent time at sea and was never happier than when on a ship -- not only played my Beatles and his Louis Armstrong albums with equal enjoyment, but would often bang on a Burl Ives album of sea shanties.

My younger sister and I grew up to the sound of him singing, "My father was the keeper of the Edison Light, he slept with a mermaid one fine night . . ."

So . . .

This collection of sea shanties is co-produced by those well known blackguards Johnny Depp and director of Pirates of the Caribbean II Gore Verbinski, and is overseen by Hal Wilner who has done a similar job on a number of similar projects (notably the Disney and Thelonious Monk tributes).

And it boasts a star-studded line-up of swarthy shipmates: Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry (?), folkie Martin Carthy, Ed Harcourt, Stan Ridgway, Sting, Jolie Holland, Lou Reed finding his sea legs, Lucinda Williams, Bono, Rufus Wainwright, his dad Loudon (who does the notorious Good Ship Venus), and many many more over two discs of salty tales, traditional songs, fishermen's blues, seamen's laments and so on.

On paper that sounds awful and you could be a little cynical about such a collision of celebrities.

But there are some wonderful performances and songs here, among them One Spring Morning by Akron/Family (never heard of them); Martin Carthy on Hog-Eye Man, Ed Harcourt with Farewell Nancy . . .

In fact so many that this is much more interesting and worthy than you might expect.

Dark stuff too.

My dad -- and Burl Ives -- wouldn't have liked it much however.

Share It

Your Comments

Gavin Hancock - Dec 13, 2011

Sting and Bono doing sea shanties? "Ohhhh narrrrrr"

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 An Emerald City:  Circa Scaria (Banished/Border)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 An Emerald City: Circa Scaria (Banished/Border)

Because the previous EP by this Auckland-based group was widely hailed at Elsewhere, and that there is now a profile of the band posted under Absolute Elsewhere, this will be brief. For my... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB DYLAN; FIFTY YEARS ON (2012): The new Vs old Dylans

BOB DYLAN; FIFTY YEARS ON (2012): The new Vs old Dylans

The new Bob Dylan album Tempest – in yet another uninspiring cover – is released later this week, but already there has been controversy over the first-released song Early Roman Kings... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Buzzcocks; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Buzzcocks; Original Album Series

Although the Buzzcocks came through when punk kicked the doors down in the late Seventies, they were -- despite singer/writer Pete Shelley being inspired by seeing the Sex Pistols -- less of a punk... > Read more